In January, I turned 30. In what has become an annual tradition, my buddy Andy & I took a bus up to Chicago to stay with our old roommate and man-of-fine-taste, Tyler. We feasted with the most solid dudes around upon hams and other hooved delicacies at Publican, which is where this stein set recessed and noble. Oh, and then we were accosted by a unstable fool, and nearly stranded by a polar-vortex-induced ice/shitstorm.
But that's another story.
Bread. I kept making it. And, I was able to eat some of the country's finest loaves. Tartine. The Mill. And stumbling upon Cellar Door Provisions. To be continued...
After Amelia got back from England and her grandmother's funeral, we took some day trips around the area, including her first visit to Turkey Run State Park, on one of the most astoundingly beautiful days of the year. Indiana, you clean up well...when you're surrounded by microclimates and funky, ancient moss-encased canyons.
In June, we moved. For the second time in three years, just a few blocks away to a two-story pad with a *ahem* baller *ahem* kitchen. I used the opportunity to set-up a new listening station (Pro-Ject deck, NAD amplifier, used Cerwin Vegas) in the living room. And yes, the speakers reside on the floor. Just outside the frame was our bedframe, waiting to be taken apart, carried upstairs, and put back together again.
Everything, Now! only played two shows this year (and one was a ten-minute set at the 13th annual Tonic Ball). The other? A mind-opening set before our psychedelic-pop heroes in Circulatory System. The night flew by in a dream-state, though their set (and new long-player) was phenomenal.
I got wrapped up in World Cup fever, again rooting for the squad while nervously watching the early rounds. Despite a terrible draw, we made it through to the knockout round, which necessitated the donning of my American flag shorts (courtesy Tyler) and a bike-ride down to Mass Ave., which had been closed off to watch the game on projection screens. We lost, but after a late goal and an impossibly near miss, hope was thick in the air.
Last year, I journeyed West for a thirtieth birthday gathering of dudes. Such an epic time was had driving south down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Fran to LA...that I had to go back. Had to. Plus, Amelia had to hear all the tales and see none of the sights. This time, we ventured north up the PCH to the Lost Coast and redwood country.
It is simply the most stunning landscape, and raw, sun-showered coastline imaginable. I have to go back. Have to.
(Somewhere near Mendocino.)
(Punta Gorda, Lost Coast.)
(Amelia atop San Fran's Twin Peaks.)
A few weeks later, my elbow randomly swelled up. Then it got hot. Then I got a fever. Then I went to urgent care. Then I went to the ER. Then I went home. Then I went back to the ER. Then I was in the hospital for three nights. I think this was the day I got out, before collapsing into a pile of exhaustion.
To celebrate being alive (and, I had already bought the tickets) – Amelia and I drove to Chicago to see the reunion tour for Slowdive, one of my absolute favorites (peep Souvlaki for hazy pop gems). The show was stellar, as much so as staying and eating breakfast (and drinking whiskey) at Longman & Eagle. To whomever planted that seed in my brain...good work.